Toxic culture allegations rise at JJ College-

“I never thought residency was stressful until I joined JJ College,” said a former Junior Resident (JR) of Grant Government Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals (GGMC JJH) on the condition of anonymity. This reaction comes as a response to the harassment and mental torture students allegedly suffer at the hands of the Head of the Department of Dermatology, Dr Mahindra Kura of GGMC JJH. 

Since December 18, about 21 resident doctors from the department along with the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) of the college have been on mass leave, boycotting OPD (Outpatient Department) services. The association had written to Dean Dr Pallavi Saple on December 9 demanding the removal of the HoD; however, to no avail. They have even written to the Principal Secretary of the Medical Education and Drugs Department, Dr Dinesh Waghmare on December 15. Following this, a committee was formed to look into the matter and submit a report. 

Amidst the residents’ mass leave, strike and state committee inquiry, it is reported that the HoD has been sent on 15 days leave. 

The letter issued by the MARD on December 20, which EdexLive has access to, read, “We the JJ MARD, have received confirmation of the fact that Dr. Kura has been sent on leave for 15 days in view of the ongoing investigation and inquiry of the allegations made by resident doctors of Dermatology Department against him.”

Strike re-scheduled
To recall, due to the disappointment in the progress of fulfilling their demand, MARD called for a mass strike on December 21. However, owing to the due process of the final verdict of the committee’s inquiry, MARD has rescheduled its strike to December 28, a MARD member informed EdexLive.

“As an act of complete support to our residents, we the JJH MARD and all the Resident doctors of JJH will go on an indefinite strike from 28th December 2023 if Dr Mahendra kura- HOD Dermatology, JJH is not removed from JJ Hospital for the well-being of our resident doctors,” the letter read. 

However, the junior residents suspect that the committee report may be biased as one or two committee members are allegedly close aides of the HoD. A member of MARD and a resident doctor of the Dermatology department, on the condition of anonymity, told EdexLive, “As per the information we received, the HoD is trying to manipulate the committee. Anyhow, despite this, we believe that an unbiased and genuine interrogation is being conducted and a decisive report for the betterment of the department will be submitted.”  

JRs express their plight
“I never thought residency was stressful until I joined JJ College,” said a former Junior Resident (JR) of GGMC JJH on the condition of anonymity. “The work culture is pathetic at GGMC JJH. The seniors in power will order juniors in an authoritative and rude tone. Toxic culture prevailed even before Dr Kura joined,” the former JR adds. 

“I was mentally depressed, anxious and never wanted to go to work,” said the former JR who joined the college in February 2022 and left in November 2023. Terming the HoD as someone who would show power, authority and position, the JR said, “Our entire job is to satisfy him. We do not have our personal choices or decisions to make. Failing to do so, we have faced the worst shouting.” 

“Seniors were terrified and worried that he would scold them for any duty they perform,” the JR alleges, adding that the HoD Dr Kura would always speak to the JR in a rude and high tone. “After Dr Kura joined the college as HoD, two faculty members resigned in 2022. Since then, there are no faculty members in the department,” the JR claims. 

Adding to this, sources from the college have confirmed the allegation against the HoD as true and that there are no faculty members in the department. Additionally, “No new person will join the college due to the HoD’s harassment and torture,” they added. 

Another JR who is currently pursuing a second-year residency shared with EdexLive that Dr Kura who is his thesis guide, has forced him to work on a topic he was not interested in. “My interest was in Scaring Alopecia. But Dr Kura has forced me to work on Pigmentary Cutaneous,” he alleged.

Further, JR expressed, “I am in a helpless situation as I am stuck in the preparation for my thesis synopsis while other residents have already finished theirs. Since my thesis is pending because of Dr Kura, I am mentally tensed about finishing it.” Additionally, he claims that his thesis has been pending for the past six to seven months. 

Sharing his personal experiences, the JR said that JJ College, which is considered a reputed and top college in Maharashtra, has less scope for learning and more for torture. “Instead of teaching us, the HoD gives lectures and scolds us regarding unnecessary situations stating, ‘You don’t understand this, you are not able to write this, you just came here to enjoy your salary,’ and so on,” claim both the JRs. 

Sources have disclosed that the professors of the department have also complained about the HoD’s harassment and torture. They also disclosed that earlier, the HoD was transferred to the Government Medical College, Alibag. “Similar complaints erupted over there and he was sent back to JJ college,” they added by saying that no JR under Dr Kura will ever speak positively about him. 

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